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Dd wants to go on dh's next work trip...

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This is what I wondered about. At what age would it NOT be child abandonment?

Definitely check the state's rules and try to feel the hotel chain out. Also, since you seem to be having some hesitation and it sounds like this thing seems to come up frequently, I'd be inclined to skip this trip and maybe give it a few more months to re-evaluate. 10 is way on the young end of this sort of thing being appropriate, so having her wait a little longer seems reasonable to me. I think that all parties -- the parent on the trip, the parent at home and the child need to be fully comfortable with the situation, and it sounds like you might not quite be there yet.

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I wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand. To consider it, I'd probably make a list of things that would make me more comfortable:


*She should have some experience staying alone at home first.


*She needs to use the do not disturb sign and the inside lock. Dad should wait at the door to hear the lock and verbally verify. No leaving the room, no room service.


*I would not want her to shower or bathe, because it's too easy to slip or have some minor accident (especially in a strange bathroom).


*I would role play a few different scenarios (fire alarm, persistent knocking, etc) and possible responses.


*I would definitely want her and dad to be able to text each other, and to check-in that way every half hour or so. Texting frequently is much easier than calling frequently (on your dh's end).


Mostly, if she can stay home alone, plus deal with the possibility of a fire alarm or deciding when to break the rules and leave the room for help, etc, then I wouldn't be too worried about some of the bad possibilities people posted about. If people are persistently knocking or fighting in the hall, all she has to do is call the front desk and report a disturbance near her room, please send someone up. No need to say she is alone and the do not disturb sign stays right on the door. Whatever can happen at a hotel can happen at home, too.


I'm sure it's the official policy of some hotels that children under 12 cannot stay alone, but I have never seen this stated or posted at any hotel we've stayed at, and it's never been mentioned to us. I can't imagine how the hotel would know if a kid is in the room alone to begin with??




There are definitely bigger worries than "busy bodies." Housekeeping comes during the day to clean. The people in the next room can have a killer, scary fight. There can be a fire alarm. People can come to the wrong room and start banging on the door.


These are all things that can happen in any hotel, any where. And all of them bring up concerns.




Definitely check with the hotel for their policy beforehand. Friends of ours traveled to attend workshops for their upcoming missionary journey. They and their kids were all staying in the hotel and they only found out when they arrived that the children (even with their oldest 12 or 13) were not allowed to be on their own in the hotel room. They needed to scramble to make alternate arrangements.


Erica in OR

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Sorry, but there's no way that I'd leave a 10 year old alone in a hotel. I don't live in a large city and it would be considered a pretty safe area, but we frequently have news stories about crime in local hotels including meth labs, prostitution, drug deals, assault, and arson. Some of these are what I'd consider nice hotels. That would be the only issue for me.

Edited by mom2scouts
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My dh travels often and we have gazillions of FF miles. I would not be comfortable with even my very thoughtful 12 year old sitting alone in a hotel room. One hour can easily turn into many. My dh's work would allow for a child to accompany him on all meals, yet these meetings would be long, and while my dd could remain even-keeled for as long as it took, they would be boring and there would be no point. Gosh, they are sometimes boring for me, and my dh does interesting work --and I like the folks. The meetings can go on forever, really. Even a simple luncheon can turn into much more.


I don't like to think of a child alone in a hotel room for hours at a time. I would not do it. I don't think it's safe. I also think I'm pretty open-minded. It took me a long time to decide to answer this question. lol (Not my greatest concern, but I know I end up watching too much TV, and I have much to do, and much to read. ;) )


10 seems too young. 12 is pushing it, imo. The big kids have gone along, but they are old enough that they can easily explore on their own.


With fuddy -duddy guilt, I vote no. I also just asked my dh and he voted no as well. Hotels are great--- when you are old enough. Dh maintains that even the most expensive/safe/quiet hotels can have issues that a 10 year might not fully understand or grasp.

Edited by LibraryLover
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I find children are often more nervous being left alone away from home than at home. Even if I was willing to leave them at home for 1-2 hours at 10 I would worry about them being anxious in a hotel room.


Also (and I am not the worrying sort) there are all sorts of adults milling about at hotels - adults who might know a 10 year old was alone in her room. This would freak me out.


I am thinking 12 would be a better age for this sort of trip.

Edited by kathymuggle
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When I was 10 (and older) I flew between DC and ME by myself, a few times a year. I negotiated layovers in Boston, and even got rerouted and snowed in at BWI overnight once, all pre cell phone.


I would not let my 10, almost 11 yo stay in a hotel room by herself. She is growing up in a different world than I did.

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I don't think I'd go for it. My concern wouldn't be the remote possibilities of something terrible happening, because they're pretty remote. My concern would be twofold: one, what if a hotel gets nervous about a man checking in with a pre-teen girl? I don't think there's anything wrong with this scenario, but I would rather not have anyone else decide that there's something wrong, y'know? And two, what if someone in the hotel sees him check in with her and then sees him around the hotel/leaving the hotel without her? I'd be concerned that someone would decide to be a busybody and make trouble for you for "abandoning" her. If you decide to let her go, perhaps send a letter signed by you that states that you agree that he may have her with him? And a copy of her birth certificate.


I do see why it would be appealing, though, for her to have that independence, adventure, and special time to hang out with her dad, but I think I'd opt for other ways for her to get that.

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